July 2nd, 2013 at 6:00 am
Change, whether good or bad, is difficult. The Kennedy clan has just moved from the shores of Alabama to the mountains of Colorado. Are our new vistas awesome? Yes! Has the move been exciting? Yes! Am I grieving? You bet!
One of the last things I did was make that final hair appointment with my hair dresser and dear friend of 15 years. When it came time to get that last “Everything-I-can-get-done-to-my-hair-that-will-last-me-for-as-long-as-possible,” she fixed me up, including giving me a little bottle of “Fixes Everything.” Really? Everything?
I can think of some broken areas of my life that could use some fixing, some empty spots that need filling: the loss of close friendships, the loss of leaving our son at a college 1,300 miles from us, the loss of our wonderful church family and the loss of our home that was packed full of memories, just to name a few. You get the picture. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just buy a bottle of “Fixes Everything?”
It’s not just me who has broken places. It‘s not just me who is going through change. We are all facing change daily. “Being conformed to the image of Christ” is not a process in which we are observers, nor is it a work that is for some, but not all. Sadly, more often than not, we are so busy that it is not God who is shaping us but our schedules. Soon we come to believe it’s up to us to fix everything. So what’s a gal to do?
If God is to do the shaping, then we must choose to slow down and stop trying to do what He alone is intended to do. We must choose to reduce the noise in our ears so we can hear Him again. We must choose to spend time in that blessed Sabbath rest. There is only one sin I regularly hear Christians brag about committing, one disobedience that is respected in the church. Surprisingly, it is one of the big ten. Figured out which one? I hope it didn’t take long! “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.”
Ask yourself, “How long has it been since I have taken a day of rest or since I have rested in obedience?” My sweet PW (“pastor’s wife,” an affectionate term one of our churches bestowed upon me!), your schedule is quite full, of that I am quite sure. If you have little ones, I know you are craving somewhere or sometime in which your name is not Mommy! You are craving rest. If you have teenagers, you may have discovered anew what worry really is…rest is definitely needed. If you have an empty nest, you know how hard it is to fill up all the emptiness. Rest in His presence. Rest.
To value rest is not intuitive. In America, even our vacations are exhausting. But surely, if God deemed rest to be one of His top ten concerns, then we need to take heed. Sisters, please believe me when I say I know how difficult this is. We are now living “on the mountain” and how easy it is for me to do anything and everything except… Sabbath. BUT, when I choose to take a day and rest, it’s like spraying a little “Fixes Everything” on my life. The problems are still there… yet I see them with different eyes. The losses don’t magically disappear… but He fills the empty spaces. I have discovered God is a much better fixer than I.
Take a Sabbath and see what happens. I dare you… or as we say in our family… I double-dog dare you! He alone will restore you to life. He alone fixes everything.
Connie Kennedy has been a pastor’s wife for 25 years. She and her husband Greg just made the move from Alabama to Colorado to serve as retreat leaders at SonScape Retreats. They have two children in college.
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